I become so cranky about it that I tend to waste more time complaining about it than I do trying to get better.
I just had a very “sick” month. I suppose it had to do with the fact that my 2 year old just started pre-school. We’d been warned by friends with kids a bit older than ours that we needed to up the Airborne in our house, clear away any important events and get ready to host some hostile germs. It’s not that we didn’t believe them. We heard them. We just didn’t imagine it would be quite like THIS.
Since the first day of school, just over a month ago, my husband and I have caught ear infections, strep throat, pink eye, bronchitis, and just this past weekend, a horrible dose of stomach flu.
Just as one illness subsided, it seemed the next one was on the way in. I knew I was in trouble when last week my doctor prescribed the miracle antibiotic “Z pak” for me and I had to remind him that this was the 2nd time in 3 weeks that I was taking it. His eyes widened, and then frowned as he added another antibiotic to the prescription.
So what have I learned after all this? A great deal, actually.
I’ve been working hard since the beginning of the year. OMM has been a true passion of mine ever since I became a “self-employed” parent, and as we can all relate to, it’s easy to put a large amount of pressure on ourselves to follow through with daily tasks when you’ve committed yourself to a project…or ten.
Well, as my husband and my business partner will tell you, I will sometimes take things to the extreme. Recently I began pulling all nighters catching up with emails and paying extra attention to detail on each and every client service situation, researching online, reading about business plans, connecting with co-marketers, learning and applying and working at top speed as if I have a race to win. I’d promised my husband each night I’d come to bed before midnight, and often he’d find me the next morning sitting in that very same spot 7 hours later.
I’d become, dare I say it? a work-a-holic.
This month of being sick didn’t stop me, either. At least not right away. Even though I was vomiting, and possessed chills and a 103° fever, I was practically crawling toward my laptop with an ever staggering, “must…check…emails…” before my husband whined back, “are you SERIOUS??”
It was in the moment that I realized it wasn’t preschool that had made me sick. Life was trying to grab hold of me. It literally grabbed me by both shoulders, looked me squarely in the eyes and told me to STOP. Life made me sick, and sick was a GOOD thing…Sick wasn’t trying to punish me. Sick was helping me by slowing me down since I refused to do it myself. When I recognized this, I became so grateful for it.
WHAT WAS I DOING?
I’d made a decision to work from home so that I could watch my son grow up. Was I watching him grow, or neglecting him to answer an email? I started my own business so that no one could tell me ever again that their needs were more important than my family’s, but was I putting my family’s needs first? I was in charge of my own schedule, so why wasn’t I slowing my schedule down?
Sick taught me so many things this month, but the biggest thing it taught me was how precious our lives are, and how nothing is more important than taking a moment to laugh with the people you love.
I am my own boss, now…something I am learning to adapt to after years of working for other people. It’s an adjustment, but I love it.
No one can fire me. I often repeat that to myself several times on a daily basis, and I still can’t fully grasp it.
Yes, I have responsibilities. Yes, I have clients that are relying on me and expecting me to deliver. Yes, I have a responsibility to the company I’ve created and to my business partner who works just as hard as I do. No, I don’t get paid for sick days and vacation time, but I also can take as much time as I need to heal, or relax.
My partner and I both have families.
It’s the love that we have for our families and families across the country that has inspired us to create OMM. It’s the passion for our families that keeps our integrity alive in everything that we do, and keeps us at home with our children where we belong. It’s the reason we chose to employ ourselves and why we want to encourage others to do the same for themselves and for families of their own.
When I came to that realization, my fever broke. I felt truly healed.
I closed my laptop, picked up my son who had been trying to get my attention by throwing toys at me, and instead of reprimanding him the way I usually do, I took him to the park where we played the day away. It felt good.